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Facts about adult immunization 

Each year on average in the U.S., more than 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases or their complications. 

Each year, on average, more than 36,000 people die from seasonal flu complications; 90% of these deaths are in persons 65 years of age and older. 

Medicare Part B reimburses healthcare providers who accept the Medicare-approved payment amount for both influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations.

During more influenza seasons, an average of 5-20% of the U.S. population is infected with seasonal influenza virus. Seasonal influenza immunization can reduce physician visits and lost work days, and reduce antibiotic use. 

The hepatitis B vaccine is recognized as the first anti-cancer vaccine because it can prevent primary liver cancer caused by chronic HBV infection. 

Before hepatitis A vaccine became available in the U.S., about 270,000 person were infected with hepatitis A (HAV) each year. 

An estimated 100 people die from hepatitis A each year. 

Hepatitis A is the most common vaccine-preventable disease acquired during travel. 

 Fifty or fewer cases of tetanus occur each year in the U.S., but result in about five deaths. Most deaths occur in those 60 years of age or older and persons with disabilities. 

Almost all reported cases of tetanus occur in persons who either have never been vaccinated or who completed their primary series but have not had a booster vaccination in the past 10 years. 

Nearly one of every 10 people who get diphtheria will die from it.

Almost one-third of reported pertussis (whooping cough) cases are in adults. 

Infection with the pertussis bacteria (Bordetella pertussis) in adults cover a spectrum from mild cough illness to classic whooping cough.

Unimmunized persons of any age can get measles, but those born after 1956 who do not have proof of immunity are particularly at risk and should be immunized. 

If rubella (German measles) occurs during pregnancy, it can result in severe birth defects, miscarriages and stillbirths. 

Approximately one-fifth of people infected with mumps do not exhibit symptoms of illness. 

Serious complications of mumps are more common among adults than among children.

Adolescents and adults are more likely than children to develop severe complications when infected with the chickenpox virus. 

Less than 5% of adults are susceptible to infection by the chickenpox virus, but adults are much more likely to die from chickenpox than are children.

Source: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. www.nfid.org. 

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